Feb 6, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Justin Williams (14) during the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Blue Jackets 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Preview: Los Angeles Kings vs. Phoenix Coyotes


 

Los Angeles Kings (38-24-6, 82 points) vs Phoenix Coyotes (32-25-11, 75 points)

Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA

7:30 PM PST – Fox Sports West

The Los Angeles Kings, currently in 3rd place in the Pacific Division, will host the Phoenix Coyotes, who are currently 4th in the Pacific Division. The Kings are riding a two game losing streak after falling to the Anaheim Ducks by the score of 2-1 in their last contest. Previously the Kings had been the winners of eight straight games.

The Kings have lost their last two games by a combined two goals; however, failed to reach overtime in either game, thereby not earning any points. While the team is still in very good shape to make the playoffs, it is disheartening to fans to watch this team play so well yet not capitalize on its opportunities.

Meanwhile, the Coyotes are fighting tooth and nail for one of the final Wild Card spots in the Stanley Cup playoffs and every game for them right now might as well be a playoff game. As of this moment the Coyotes are tied with the Dallas Stars for the final spot in the playoffs; however, the Stars currently own the tie breaker over Phoenix.

Season Series: Coyotes 2 – Kings 1

Three Keys to the Game: 

1. Offense, Offense, Offense

We know the Kings can defend and are one of the most elite defensive teams in the NHL. However, we also know when the Kings get into a funk it’s because of their offense. Coming down the stretch the Kings need to focus on getting to the net and being opportunistic around the net. If that means sacrificing a bit on defense then go ahead and do it right now. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, hey they’re probably still making the playoffs.

2. Quicky’s health

The Kings need to make sure that Jonathan Quick‘s illness that kept him out of the Anaheim game doesn’t become a major issue. If he’s not ready then ride with Martin Jones.

3. Get Marian Gaborik involved

I know he’s brand new to the team; however, he needs to be a focal point of the offense. Get him involved more and let him get comfortable with the guys. This is an essential part of the Kings playoff run and they need to start getting him involved tonight.

Prediction: Kings 3 – Coyotes 1 

Tags: Jonathan Quick Marian Gaborik NHL

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